Beverbeek Classic. Race #1. A Good Start

02Mar09

Nervousness and excitement is what filled me in the days leading up to the 28th of March. Luckily a mate of mine Driu came across from London on Friday, which was fantastic for two reasons. Firstly because it was great to see him again and secondly because he was a distraction from my thoughts about the impending race.

The amount of hype surrounding Frank Vandenbroucke’s return to racing was huge. Our team was the number one attraction in the car park before the race. It was more amusing than anything. Everywhere he went he was mobbed. The trickle down affect of this was the number of people coming up to me and wanting my autograph or a picture of me. This wasn’t even on the cycling fanatic side of the country that we are going to this Friday.

I was thankful when the race started. I smiled a number of times at the craziness of racing in Belgium. Riders going everywhere. Jumping up on footpaths to move up. Dodging parked cars and road furniture. The number of near misses that occurred were unbelievable but for some reason everyone stays out of trouble. So good to be back. The nervousness of the first race in Belgium was tangible and it was only a matter of time before the first crash happened. Interestingly enough it was on a perfectly straight piece of road with nothing in the way to interrupt us yet for some reason there was a massive pile up in front of me. FSA brakes work so well it’s not funny. With the first avoided crash of the season out of the way it was back into the rhythm of racing.

Trying to stay in the front 20 of the pack while 180 others try and do the same thing, pushing a 53×11 again and trying to read the race while conserving as much energy for the finish as possible. The race was fairly uneventful until 20km to go when another big pile up cut the pack in two. Luckily, I avoided it however, I was behind it. It spoiled my chances of a good result but realistically today was never going to be my day.  F@#! it’s good to be back.

I came into the race a bit under done and unsure of where my form was. I came out of it quietly happy with myself and surprised at where I am at. All signs point too a good year.

 

Mitch

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